In this crazy, high-speed, mass marketing, politically charged, what’s next?, American Idol, performance-based society, it’s easy to see why many feel so insignificant. We have been deceived. The people of God have been led by the nose down a path of conformity. I see it in myself as well – even as I write I have become more concerned with getting blog hits as opposed to impacting individuals. Facebook cannot take the place of a cup of coffee with a friend, and texting lacks the warmth of a face to face conversation. We have utilized the media to reach a wider audience for what we see as a just cause, but many times, we look, sound, and act like the world. What makes us think we have anything they would want? Lost, confused, and painfully dissatisfied, they see no solutions in a Christian that is, in practically every way, just like them.
Where is the conviction, the sanctification, and the ultimate calling we have to reach this world for Christ? Why do we feel such a need be liked and accepted by everyone? I struggle with that too, but I am learning that taking a stand means a division will be created. Not everyone wants to be known as a Christ-follower everywhere they go, but our mandate is clear and very well-defined:
Hated by the World
John 15 (MSG)
18-19 “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.
How does it feel to be hated? Is there no reason for anyone to hate you based on your lack of Christian witness? I speak to myself as well here, for the distinction between my lifestyle and that of someone who knows not my Savior were once identical. I now realize that my only true contribution to the cause of Jesus Christ is made one person at a time, in a personal way, with faith and conviction, and must be unmistakably authentic.
John 17:13-19 (MSG)
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
Need anything else be said?